as you might have noticed, i am having a hard time keeping my blog updated. it just feels weird, telling stories to an unknown crowd. it has already been over a month since i returned from nepal, meeting up with fair trade companies and traveling a bit. on my external hard drive are about 1000 pictures of my trip and today i decided to start digging through them. it was a wonderful experience, and i don't know where to start my story!
these first pictures were made in bhaktapur. i met up with aparna, who runs this little workshop. over there, they make my jewelry boxes by hand: starting by making lokta paper themselves, printing the paper by letterpress, and eventually putting everything together. i have one piece at home already, and in two weeks all boxes will arrive. this time they will have new piece of jewelry in them, but i have to keep this a little secret until they arrive.
this is aparna, on the rooftop of her shop and little factory. when i met her, she was feeling a bit ill. but she climbed all the stairs to show me around after all.
to get to the factory, we had to walk through the shop and cross a little court yard where the pottery makers where drying their new pieces.
the letterpress! i was so happy to see it standing there, but aparna didn't understand my excitement. i guess because they've been using it for the last decade.. but i am still very excited to tell you that my boxes are printed like this! one of the 3 guys working there does the printing. i tried to communicate with him, and tell him how excited i was, but he was partly deaf. eventually aparna explained it to him in sign language. he smiled at me and gave me some prints.
over here the women are finishing up some boxes and calenders.
on the first floor, one of the women was making paper lamp shades. these are sold all over kathmandu, and i've bought some too as little presents.
those are the screens used for making lokta paper, made from pieces of the lokta tree. you can see some pieces hanging on the wall. i i remember it right, they put the pieces in a warm bath and boil them for a while, before they will be dyed. the paper i use for my boxes is natural lokta paper, prepared without any type of dye.
filling up the screens, before they go up the roof to dry in the sun
the coloured water was running down the rooftop while the screens were waiting to be dried.
some drying screens filled with red lokta. the only way to dry them, is laying them in the sun. when it would start to rain, everything has to be carried inside of the house again. can you imagine!
the view from the highest floor. on the left you can also see the drying pottery in the court yard.
the stunning view from the rooftop!